Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dunno what I think here. I see all this new ammo out there with light weight bullets made of copper or some polymer stuff that advertise 2000fps velocities.

I am considering them for use in a new snub nose revolver I am purchasing in a couple weeks.

I have read some of the thoughts here but none addressed my question.

Does massive velocity with less mass do as much damage to tissue as slower heavier projectiles? Is this theory a better choice for short barrel pistols?

How much does barrel length affect terminal ballistics?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,255 Posts
I am assuming they [lighter grain bullets] also do not fair as well when striking heavy bone and cartilage.
In that case the tend to fracture halting any further penetration.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28 Posts
Does massive velocity with less mass do as much damage to tissue as slower heavier projectiles? Is this theory a better choice for short barrel pistols?

How much does barrel length affect terminal ballistics?
A lighter projectile would yield more velocity and therefore more energy. Assuming you're looking to deliver more and not less energy to the bad guy, lighter is good...to a point. I wouldn't use any of the extreme light loads, just something toward the light side. I think a smaller grain projectile would be more at home in a shorter barrel in the interest of maintaining muzzle energy, however, you may have a pistol with an action that favors something heavier. Please bear in mind I don't know what exact caliber you have in mind with this post.

To answer your question about barrel length and ballistics you might want to look at this website: BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Calibers/Cartridges
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A lighter projectile would yield more velocity and therefore more energy. Assuming you're looking to deliver more and not less energy to the bad guy, lighter is good...to a point. I wouldn't use any of the extreme light loads, just something toward the light side. I think a smaller grain projectile would be more at home in a shorter barrel in the interest of maintaining muzzle energy, however, you may have a pistol with an action that favors something heavier. Please bear in mind I don't know what exact caliber you have in mind with this post.

To answer your question about barrel length and ballistics you might want to look at this website: BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Calibers/Cartridges

I am purchasing the Charter Arms Pitbull in .40sw. I have lots and lots of .40sw ammo for my M&P's and wanted to continue that in a revolver. I had read a few articles that favored .40sw out of very short barrels when compared to several other popular calibers and even to a .357mag out of a snubby.

The .40sw seems to not be a bad choice in any pistol, not that I knew that when I first purchased my M&P, but it has not left me regretting it or feeling under powered in any way [coming from .45acp previously].
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
.40 s&w sounds like a good choice even though I have no real experience with revolvers. I do have experience with .40 (usually 165 grain for my 4 inch barrel) and I think it's a fine cartridge .357mag would still deliver more energy over .40 s&w - about 20-25% according to ballistics101.com so I'm not sure exactly what your article said - maybe it was about something else besides energy.
I believe the article was talking about muzzle velocities out of snub nose revolvers. The .40sw was right there with or better than some .357mag loads out of those really short barrels. I know muzzle velocities aren't the only thing necessary when considering defense rounds but .40sw has the velocity and a decent weight all combined. Certainly better than .38spl in my book.

I guess I worry about proper expansion of bullets out of short barrels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,444 Posts
Well, those copper bullets seem to do OK in the gel tests that I've seen. They kill deer like crazy out of my Ithaca deerslayer from my experience.

If you can afford the copper stuff and it hits close enough to POA out of your handgun then I see no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well since neither one of us can speak for an article which is not front of us let's put that aside for now to keep me less confused :)

Your concern about expansion would be another tick in the direction of a smaller grain bullet. Generally, more velocity helps ensure expansion from what (little) I know.
Sorry. Didn't mean to confuse. My real debate, with myself, was with the velocities vs. mass. I simply wanted to make sure my choice of revolver would be adequate using the .40sw ammo I already have on hand or with other copper jacketed lead choices. I didn't want to lose so much muzzle velocity that my hollow points wouldn't do their job.

If the newer tech offerings work then I would be gaining several hundred FPS out of a short snubby to better ensure expansion, but I also didn't want to lose energy from lesser weight bullets to the point of ineffectiveness against an assailant.

For the moment I plan to purchase some slightly lighter weight hollow point .40sw for the revolver. Maybe something in the 165 flavor. Maybe do some unofficial water jug tests with two different weights of defense ammo out of the Pitbull.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, those copper bullets seem to do OK in the gel tests that I've seen. They kill deer like crazy out of my Ithaca deerslayer from my experience.

If you can afford the copper stuff and it hits close enough to POA out of your handgun then I see no problem.
The copper stuff I have seen locally is more expensive but when bought solely for self defense I wouldn't "not" make the purchase due to cost. You get 20 rounds for about twice the cost of 50 target style rounds.

However, Federal HST is the best bang for buck I believe. I get 50 round boxes for about $35.00.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,263 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You're saying there's an ammo (with the same grain) that will give you several hundred (at least 300?) fps more out of a 2" barrel? The all copper ones? I could see that out of a longer test barrel maybe but gaining that much out of a 2" barrel seems hard to believe.

Ohhhh no. No where near the same grain. The projectiles I am talking about are very light, under 90 grains (Ruger ARX stuff). The Colt stuff, solid copper, is lighter but not as light as the ARX.

I would go with something like 165-155 grain HSTs.
That is my plan for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,688 Posts
A lighter projectile would yield more velocity and therefore more energy. Assuming you're looking to deliver more and not less energy to the bad guy, lighter is good...to a point. I wouldn't use any of the extreme light loads, just something toward the light side. I think a smaller grain projectile would be more at home in a shorter barrel in the interest of maintaining muzzle energy, however, you may have a pistol with an action that favors something heavier. Please bear in mind I don't know what exact caliber you have in mind with this post.

To answer your question about barrel length and ballistics you might want to look at this website: BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Calibers/Cartridges
Reading the charts and articles selling the newest and hottest ammo would lead many people to this conclusion. But the truth is MSG answered the question in post #3. The formula for energy (e= 0.5 m v(squared) ) tells you the energy of the round at the muzzle. It does not tell you the work done at the target.

Now, we are discussing performance out of a short barrel. A common flawed logic is to think the short barrel has lost lots of velocity, so try to get some of it back by using a lighter bullet. This is the opposite of how to handle the physics problem. You are not getting that energy back. Go with a heavy for caliber round. It will better maintain what little velocity the short barrel has yielded to the projectile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
A lighter projectile would yield more velocity and therefore more energy. [/url]
Not necessarily. Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will provide more energy at the muzzle. However, just because the velocity is higher does not necessarily mean a greater amount of energy. There will be a point where the amount of energy will be greater for the lighter weight bullet, once it has enough velocity. However, that is still only "at the muzzle". the lighter weight bullet will also shed its velocity, and thus its energy, much faster than the heavier bullet.

Basically, you would need to do the math to determine at what distances any given light weight bullet would have more energy than any given heavier bullet (some heavier bullets will still have a greater amount of energy at the muzzle even though they are a slightly lower velocity). Even then, you still need to take into account that that lighter bullet needs to have enough additional energy to overcome the higher rate of energy loss as it impacts and penetrates. A lighter bullet with just a little bit more energy at the time of impact will still do less damage that the heavier bullet because of how much faster it looses that energy upon impact.

Yes, sometimes a lighter bullet is well worth it, but not always, and not just because it has a higher velocity. It comes down to being a trade off that you need to understand before you can make an educated decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
As always, I would buy a box or two at most....do some of your own experimentation, then decide. We are not all mad scientists...so we have to see it first.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28 Posts
Not necessarily. Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will provide more energy at the muzzle. However, just because the velocity is higher does not necessarily mean a greater amount of energy. There will be a point where the amount of energy will be greater for the lighter weight bullet, once it has enough velocity. However, that is still only "at the muzzle". the lighter weight bullet will also shed its velocity, and thus its energy, much faster than the heavier bullet.

Basically, you would need to do the math to determine at what distances any given light weight bullet would have more energy than any given heavier bullet (some heavier bullets will still have a greater amount of energy at the muzzle even though they are a slightly lower velocity). Even then, you still need to take into account that that lighter bullet needs to have enough additional energy to overcome the higher rate of energy loss as it impacts and penetrates. A lighter bullet with just a little bit more energy at the time of impact will still do less damage that the heavier bullet because of how much faster it looses that energy upon impact.

Yes, sometimes a lighter bullet is well worth it, but not always, and not just because it has a higher velocity. It comes down to being a trade off that you need to understand before you can make an educated decision.
That's why I said (in the same post you quoted me above I may add) that a light projectile is good to a point and that I don't recommend extreme light loads.

Please show me the math in which a 155-165 grain .40 s&w is underperforming at a 10 meter or under DGU-typical range. That's the size the OP settled on if you had read the thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,688 Posts
The problem is that you are stuck in the formula. It exponentially favors velocity (at the muzzle). We need to look at how bullets behave in living tissue. Heavier for caliber bullets simply maintain more momentum through the target. Lighter is not better "to a point". Lighter is only better if your pistol cycles it better. Even then, 124 gr. 9mm, is the lightest you need in that caliber. In .40, there should be no reliability issue with the 180gr. It's not that the 155gr. is ineffective, it's that the 180 will penetrate more reliably; especially from a short barrel.

At any rate, the lead free copper stuff is overpriced hype caused by the enviro nazis. Or is good for hunting dangerous game.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28 Posts
Again, please show me the math where 155grain .40s&w is penetrating "unreliably" from a 2" barrel within 10m. You're suggesting to forego muzzle energy to get more "reliable" penetration where no penetration problem exists.

According to Lucky Gunner 155gr Federal Hydra Shok was averaging 18.4" of penetration in ballistics gel out of a 3.42" barrel. 180gr Federal Hydra Shok averaged 16.4". So in this guys test shots he actually got more penetration out of the lighter 155grain Hydra Shok than the 180 grain counterpart. (He also got a bit more expansion and a higher muzzle velocity from 155grain hydrashok)

Then Federal 180gr HST averaged 18.5" and 155gr averaged 17.2". I can't see any penetration problems. I know it's not the same as a 2" barrel but it's a good idea. So really, if any of these rounds penetrated much more, they would be overpenetrating according to the FBI standard. I know it's not flesh and bone but until you can produce some cadaver or animal flesh tests that say otherwise it's the best we got.

Do you not want the penetration in order to deliver energy to the vital organs after all? But then you say muzzle energy doesn't matter.

I know that muzzle energy doesn't equal the energy at target but it is related to it. You're never going to get the energy to increase en route - it will only decrease - so why not start with the most practical?

Good discussion guys but unless someone wants to produce sources or data to substantiate why I'm wrong then I'm done with this thread. I've supplied data and sources to backup my opinions and all I get back are more unsubstantiated opinions. Cheers.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top